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Clarkson University Physical Therapy Students Lead Injury Prevention Workshops for Crane School of Music Musicians

Playing musical instruments can lead performers to suffer from unique aches and pains, so a group of students in Clarkson University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program held a series of injury prevention workshops this spring for musicians at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music.

Injury Prevention WorkshopClarkson Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Leslie Russek said the collaboration is part of the DPT students' community wellness project. The students surveyed Crane student musicians to learn more about the challenges they face and how physical therapy could provide support.

"Being a musician is demanding," Russek said. "They are athletes of fine motor skills and they have to take care of their bodies."

The workshops in Crane featured a series of interactive stations where DPT students led the participants in exercises to relax and relieve tension with the help of low-tech equipment. The workshops followed a lecture Russek gave on injury prevention to 120 student musicians as part of Crane's Wellness Day.

Demonstrations included braces and canes designed to help people improve posture and manage pain. Stations also included anatomical models for musicians to see how muscles and bones in areas such as the spine, jaw and hands are affected by hours of practicing instruments.

SUNY Potsdam Associate Professor of String Education Sarah Hersh said the opportunities for students to visualize how the body is put together will help them take better care of themselves to prevent injuries. She said the experiential aspect of the program allows musicians to try new interventions and find what works for them.

"It's active learning, and you get to try the equipment and see what it can do for your body," she said.

Hersh added that she is delighted that Russek and her students are enhancing the connection between the two universities, and said she and her colleagues Associate Professor of Viola Shelly Tramposh and Associate Professor of Bassoon Carol Lowe look forward to working with other Clarkson DPT students interested in performance arts medicine.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York's only All-Steinway institution. For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program students lead an injury prevention workshop for musicians at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music. Demonstrations included braces and canes designed to help participants improve posture and manage pain.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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